Friday, September 05, 2008


10 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down. - Natalie Goldberg

My husband suffers from migraines and his neurologist once gave him, along with a prescription for Topomax, a brochure called Headache Help. Inside, there’s a section with a list of “proven stress reducers.”

Now, for a women’s magazine junkie like myself, there were plenty of things on the list that made me go, “Duh!” Like: prepare for the morning the evening before; get enough sleep; take a hot bath to relieve tension. But the list had some surprisingly interesting ideas as well. Here are ten that I liked:

1. Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn’t get mowed this weekend. [my note: substitute vacuuming, laundry, or whatever for lawn mowing.]

2. For every one thing that goes wrong, there are probably 10, 50 or 100 blessings. Count them!

3. Everyday, do something that you really enjoy.

4. Focus on understanding rather than on being understood; on loving rather than being loved.

5. Do something that will improve your appearance. Looking better can help you feel better.

6. Become more flexible. Some things are worth not doing perfectly and some issues are well to compromise on.

7. If an especially unpleasant task faces you, do it early in the day and get it over with; then the rest of the day will be free of anxiety.

8. Have a forgiving view of events and people. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.

9. Have an optimistic view of the world. Believe that most people are doing the best that they can.

10. Do one thing at a time. When you are with someone, be with that person and with no one or nothing else. When you are busy with a project, concentrate on doing that project and forget about everything else that you have to do.

Do any of those hit home for you?


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Saturday, July 05, 2008



By: Carrie Hulce

Stress: physical, mental, emotional strain or tension on the body and mind.

That is only one of many definitions of the word stress.

I know lately I have had a huge level of stress and I thought for sure I would just fall apart. I thought I was in a world all by myself that no one knew what I was going through or what I was doing. It amazed me how this one little word could trigger such fears and anxieties in my body that literally became uncontrollable. It physically made me ill. Now, mind you, my body was already hit with heat exhaustion, I have been working in a very warm building trying to get it set up with my tea and coffee shop housed safely inside of it, then leaving to pick up whatever little things we needed to complete certain jobs, this of course meant going into extremely cold buildings making my body temperature go completely crazy. Not fun.

Then came along our wonderful friend…..STRESS! With my mind racing uncontrollably, my fears so out of control, I wanted to scream. It was getting to a serious level where I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink, and I just wanted to be put out of my misery right then and there. My whole insides were screaming at me to do something to fix this huge mess that was causing so much turmoil in my body.

With my head sinking deeper between my shoulders with my huge problems, I turned to writing a few friends for some help or advice on what to do, because I felt that I just couldn’t let go. I just didn’t know what to do to get things turned around the way I wanted to right then and there. I wanted immediate satisfaction, and was just not getting it. This was making me feel even worse with my problems.

Then a wonderful friend, (you know who you are) told me to let it go. To just be patient and let things happen. She said that eventually things would fall into place and that I wouldn’t need to worry. At first, I wondered how I would do this given my problem. Then she told me about hers and I found that they were very similar and was amazed at how calm she was compared to me. Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening and sharing with me the stresses that are in your life as well.

Well, now you are probably wondering why I’m shedding all this on all of you. Because all of us are facing huge struggles right now in our writing, in our financial lives, in our families, heck, let’s face it, even our economy is stressed. We all need to find ways of release.

For us writers, that can be easy. We can just pick up a pen or pencil, or start tapping on the keyboard to get some of our tension out. But, there are times, that this doesn’t always work. I got to thinking of other ways to help relieve some of our stresses. Even though our problems will still be there, we still need to find ways of maintaining our bodies, minds, and spirits. I know that I surely wasn’t thinking about it. I was just focusing on my problems, thinking they were never going to go away, that it was only going to get worse, and wondering how I was ever going to make it given everything that has been happening.

Now that I have gotten my emotions under control somewhat, I’m able to focus a little better on other things. First and foremost, my writing, given my current situation, that has led to this article.

I began looking at different websites that I thought might also help each of you relieve some of your stresses as well. That way, all of us can find a restful medium within ourselves so we can still remain active in what we need to do and not curled up under our covers crying.

I also think it would be wonderful if everyone could share a special way that they try to relieve stress. We all know exercise can help tremendously. Our partners sure appreciate it as well. (blushing a lot right now)

Yoga- Yeah, I know you are thinking: But I’m not flexible. Well, you don’t have to be. If you at least try some of the positions, although like me you won’t be perfect at it, you will be amazed at how well it helps to relax your body and mind.

This website gives yoga information for the beginner. It gives you step-by-step instructions on how to do certain movements, etc.

This website gives you links to other yoga websites. It gets a little tiring going through this one but you can find some interesting information.

Yoga Point is great. It gives you step-by-step movements, explains the benefits of yoga, gives simple suggestions for body types, shows diagrams of posture and more.

It isn’t yoga, but Women’s Health has some pretty good quick workouts for us busy women as well.

Stress management- We all try to find ways to manage the stress in our lives. But, sometimes they don’t always work and it's always nice to try to find other ways to manage our stress. I actually got a little giggle at some of the suggestions.

This article not only gives you some simple ideas, but it also gives you information on the effects of stress and much more.

Interested in the art of Feng Shui? This site gives you information on how it relates to relieving stress. The article is quite interesting I won’t spoil it for you, I want you to enjoy it for yourselves.

GET UP AND MOVE!- That’s right, the simple art of walking can help relieve some of the stress from your body. Go for a nice long walk in your neighbor hood. Don’t try to think about what’s bothering you though, focus on things around you, a small flower, a dog that is currently running loose in someone’s yard, the rusty old car that’s been sitting on the side of the road for the last 4 years. Focus on something else, it helps get your mind to relax and to help open up to solutions for what may be stressing you at the time.

Turn on some music and dance around the living room, you will be amazed at how music can help move your body and release tension. You don’t have to be a good dancer either, just let the rhythm take you away, hey that leads to another idea there is a website called Jams Bio that is neat. You can write about different songs that you have heard over the years. They ask that you write about a particular memory and how the song relates to your life, etc. the website is

There are tons of interesting ways to relieve stress on the web. I know that some of the ideas that I’ve given might not help everyone, or maybe you find something new and fun to help you relieve your stress.

What ever you do, no matter how hard it can be, find a friend or someone that might listen, talk about what’s bothering you get it out of your body. That is one of the first steps. Sometimes the art of talking can have profound affects on what we are dealing with. You would be amazed at what others might come up with that can help you too.

Happy Writing!

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